Jay Brown often performs as the sole member of the rootsy Jay Brown One-Man Band, deftly handling guitar, vocals, slide guitar and percussion at make it look remarkably easy. But when he wants a musical collaborator he need look no farther than home.
Aditi Sethi-Brown is accomplished in several musical traditions from her Indian homeland, and provides vocals ,harmonium, harp and percussion in their duo performances. In addition to his mastery of traditional American idioms and songwriting, Brown himself has also studied Indian classical music and is able to tap into his multitude of influences at will.
Always passionate about wanting to make the world more fair, I went into social work and applied social research to shape the world through rational systematic analysis and informed action. In my mid-late 30s and early 40s I got more actively engaged politically, spending several years advocating for public financing of elections and the abolishment of the death penalty.
In my social research work I realized that sustainable change happens at the grassroots, so I figured the best use of my energy would be to make videos for nonprofits to spread the word about the world-changing things they do.
My longer career path has taken me through social work, research design, statistics, policy and program evaluation, video production and music.
Circuitous, you say? I prefer "thorough." Each of these have left bread crumbs that have led me to my current work of helping you find fun, joy and satisfaction connecting to and expressing yourself more fully through music and movement.
In 1997 I moved to Asheville NC and in the next couple of years I took up African drumming and began reconnecting with my musical roots.
For several years, I drummed in multiple weekly African dance classes and learned the nuances and complexities of many West African rhythms. I was amazed at the interrelationships of the polyrhythms and how, when played as handed down, the rhythms inviting me (and, it seemed, all drummers, dancers and observers) into new and soul-expanding portals of experience.
For many years I helped facilitate the infamous Friday night Asheville drum circle that continues to draw hundreds of people to come celebrate the ancient experience of humans drumming and dancing together.
I'm still fascinated that the simple act of playing a drum pulls people towards it. Perhaps it's the heartbeat of a larger consciousness, sending lifeblood through the community, our larger body, that comprises the pulse of wholeness, wellness, Life itself.
In the past few years...
I've been leading the Jubilee! Community World Beat Band and playing a LOT of different kinds of music. It's a blast to weave secular popular music into the sacred space of the Jubilee! celebrations. And the chance to use music to thread the theme of each week into people's spiritual, mental and physical experience is deeply gratifying.
Through this melding of the secular and sacred, and through the simple and profound power of music, we're invited, cajoled, toe-tapped and hip-wrangled into the surprising, mind expanding and heart opening experience of the Divine in everything.
2003 was a big year! In that year I also formed the party/dance band Current Invention bringing together some of Asheville’s best musicians to play for weddings, celebrations, conferences and fundraisers in the Western North Carolina area.
We plug in the instruments, connect with the beat, some good tunes and the audience, when (We) Gotta Feeling, we reach for My Girl and rock out on that Old Time Rock and Roll (it just soothes my soul). It's a wonderful world, at last.
In 2003 I took to the theatre stage, doing improvisational music and acting with Asheville Playback Theatre. Creating live improv theatre is scary, exhilarating and deeply rewarding (as with the best of most creative edges). It invites delight, empathy and celebration in all kinds of magical and beautiful ways.
to visit the performers website